Tesla Cuts Supercharger Department, Significant Job Losses

The Supercharger department was responsible for rolling out Tesla’s charging stations across the United States

Graham Hope

May 2, 2024

3 Min Read
Tesla owners use charging stations in a parking lot on January 17, 2023 in Springfield, Virginia.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Tesla’s rollercoaster start to 2024 has taken another twist with reports of more significant job losses at the automaker.

With the company recording disappointing sales of its electric cars so far this year, CEO Elon Musk has embarked on a major program to cut costs.

That resulted in around 14,000 roles being made redundant at the start of April and now a leaked internal memo, first reported by The Information website, has revealed further cuts.

These include the company’s entire 500-strong Supercharger department, headed up by key executive Rebecca Tinucci, and also Tesla’s head of new products, Daniel Ho.

“Hopefully these actions are making it clear that we need to be absolutely hardcore about headcount and cost reduction,” Musk wrote in the leaked email.

The closing of the Supercharger department was corroborated by staff on X, with one posting: “Confirmed – @Tesla @elonmusk has let our entire charging org go. What this means for the charging network, NACS [North American Charging Standard] and all the exciting work we were doing across the industry, I don’t yet know.”

Musk also gave credence to the reports with a post of his own. “Tesla still plans to grow the Supercharger network, just at a slower pace for new locations and more focus on 100% uptime and expansion of existing locations.”

Related:Tesla Cuts 14,000 Jobs as Sales Stumble

View post on X

The Supercharger department was responsible for rolling out Tesla’s charging stations across the United States. This had become an increasingly important task, given that the company had opened up access to the network to other automakers, and the likes of Ford, General Motors and the Volkswagen Group have said they will adopt Tesla’s charging standard.

The latest job losses follow a tumultuous few weeks for the automaker.

First, it was revealed that deliveries in the first quarter fell to 386,810, a drop of 8% year on year and 20% from the previous quarter.

These alarming figures were then followed by confirmation that Tesla’s revenue fell 9% year on year in the first quarter, with profits down 55% to $1.13 billion.

In light of the slowing global demand for EVs, Tesla has been ferociously promoting its Full Self Driving (FSD) tech – which Musk has regularly insisted is key to the future value of the company – by offering free trials, cutting subscription costs and reducing the purchase price.

And the CEO also reiterated Tesla was going “balls to the wall” on autonomy by revealing that the company will unveil a Cybercab self-driving taxi in August.

This vigorous enhanced focus on automation has been accompanied by – so far unconfirmed – reports that Tesla is set to receive approval to roll out FSD in China, and will work with local big player Baidu to develop driver-assistance solutions there. 

Related:Tesla Teases Ride-Hailing Self Driving Taxi; Promises Cheaper Models

Yet at the same time, Tesla’s FSD and Autopilot tech is still under intense scrutiny by regulators in the United States.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently concluded one investigation into hundreds of crashes involving Tesla cars, including 13 that led to fatalities, with the observation that: “Autopilot’s system controls and warnings were insufficient for a driver assistance system that requires constant supervision by a human driver.”

At the same time, it opened a new probe that seeks to establish whether a recall of more than 2 million Teslas across the U.S. has gone far enough “to prevent driver misuse.”

About the Author(s)

Graham Hope

Graham Hope has worked in automotive journalism in the U.K. for 26 years, including spells as editor of leading consumer news website and weekly Auto Express and respected buying guide CarBuyer.

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